State v. Lee, 218 N.C. App. 42 (Jan. 17, 2012)

The trial court did not err by denying the defendant’s motion to dismiss the charges on grounds of a speedy trial violation. The time between arrest and trial was approximately twenty-two months. Although the defendant asserted that the State was responsible for the delay by not calendaring his competency hearing until nearly ten months after he completed a competency evaluation, the court could not determine what caused this scheduling delay. It noted that during this time the defendant filed numerous complaints with the State Bar concerning defense counsel and repeatedly asked the trial court to remove his counsel. Also, during this time one of the victims was out of the country receiving medical treatment for his injuries and was unavailable. Although troubled by the delay, the court concluded that given the defendant’s actions regarding appointed counsel and the availability of the victim, “we cannot say the delay was due to any willfulness or negligence on the part of the State, especially in light of the fact that defendant has made no showing of such on appeal.” The court went on to note that although the defendant repeatedly attempted to assert his speedy trial right, he failed to show actual and substantial prejudice resulting from the delay.